Recent Local Snaps


A few months ago we provided some information on a new law introduced by the Junta de Andalucía which requires sellers of property situated on rustic land to obtain a certificate from their local Town Hall known as a Declaración de Asimilado a Fuera de Ordenación (DAFO). The DAFO certificate clarifies the situation of the property and confirms that there are no problems relating to the house or the land. All sales of houses on rustic land and updates of Escritura descriptions need this certificate and for sales it is needed prior to completion. The process involves an architect producing comprehensive plans of the property, confirming that the property is habitable with a functioning bathroom and kitchen, that it has legal electricity and water connections and that it has a septic tank not a 'black hole' or 'pozo negro'. The Town Hall check their records to ensure that proper planning permission has been granted for everything in situ and there are no sanctions against the property or files open investigating issues relating to the property. The Town Hall Architect then visits the property to ensure that all of these requirements have been met before issuing the certificate. Following the issuing of a number of these certificates by Town Halls for sales over the past months, we now have more experience of what is involved. For instance if a first occupation licence was produced for a house at the time of the original purchase and you have not built anything new since, then the DAFO is not required for the sale of that property. But if you have added anything new to the building then the DAFO will be needed.


Traditionally, British sellers of property in Spain have had a 'love/hate' relationship with estate agents. Home sellers and estate agents have 'rubbed along' for many a year, with the seller possibly feeling they have no other choice – how else can they sell their home? In recent years and going forward into 2016 - things have changed to both the seller's and buyer's advantage! Now, sellers of Spanish property can be fully supported by property professionals whilst these experts advertise the property for sale in the best way possible/ the most visible places on the internet. They don't charge commission when the house sells, they charge just €296.45 (inc. IVA) for 12 months advertising. The property is attractively offered for sale on the best property sales websites used by buyers around the globe today.


For the start of 2016, I´d like to introduce you to the plectranthus family. They´re little known, although there are over 350 species worldwide, and they´re incredibly useful plants. So let´s get to know them a little. They take their name from plectron meaning spur and anthos meaning flower; they are closely related to members of the mint family, characterised by their square stems, lipped flowers and aromatic leaves. Many of the family are commonly used as culinary or medicinal herbs – sage, oregano and basil all belong - and some, such as plectranthus edulis, commonly known as the Ethiopian potato, produce edible tubers. Plectranthus are all tender (though generally hardy enough for our Mediterranean climate) originating from warm areas of Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Silver-leafed varieties are for hot sunny positions whilst the greener and lusher looking ones are happier with more shade. Some even have fleshy succulent-type leaves; many are very aromatic. Some you will know and recognise; coleus with those fiery coloured leaves are now reclassified as plectranthus and plectranthus coleoides, or Swedish ivy, is one of our most popular hanging basket plants. We have five species in stock at the moment; all make fine and easy-going garden plants – no green fingers needed.


It's already dark when Christian arrives in Competa village. He finds a car parking space easily and as he locks the Panda, he notices the blonde and the brunette from Marja's. They are dressed in short black skirts and crisp white blouses, elegant yet approachable. They are chatting easily to passers-by, smiling and pointing towards Maria's restaurant. He had noticed the place himself when he first came in to Competa, but it had not seemed very welcoming. This evening though, Maria's Place looks as if it has been given a new lease of life. There are fairy lights strung between the railings of the terrace, the leaves of bright green plants replace the former brown stubble and Christian can see the gentle glow of table lights. The blonde comes running over to him; “How are you this evening, sir?” She stops as she recognises Christian. “I know you, don't I? I am staying at Marja's, just up the hill.”

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